How to jump start your day - Sun Salutations

As cyclists, we often think of training as power, speed, and endurance exercises aiming to get in more power or leg strength. We shouldn't forget that flexibility and core stability are essentials to improve our position and comfort on the saddle even after long days allowing us to push even more. 

How often do you stretch and focus more on stretching rather than putting more mass to your muscles? Introducing some easy exercises in your daily routine will improve your whole body being more reactive and less sore after the cycling effort.

Many think of yoga as a counter-balance activity that leaves muscles tight and sore. But what if yoga could be more than just "stretching out"?

Perhaps, we can think of it as a way to bring awareness to our body, to center our soul in a short meditation to start fresh our day. 

Sun Salutation sequence is a great way to energize our bodies and get our blood flowing by switching our mind into "active mode", they're designed to do so and, ultimately, your cycling will thank you.

If you're able to integrate it into your morning routine, even just 10 minutes after waking up are golden!

Sun Salutation - 1 stepStanding Folding pose NGNM Sun Salutations

Start standing at the top of the mat with your feet hip-width apart, hand’s in prayer at heart.
Exhale, bending at the hips to reach for the floor.
As you come into Forward Fold, lengthen your spine. Rather than folding and curving the spine, bend the knees to allow the chest to come closer to the knees and hands to the floor. Hold for five breaths. 

Sun Salutation - 2 stepPlank NGNM Sun Salutations

Inhale, lift through the top of the head to look forward with a flat back.
Walk or jump your feet back into High Plank.
Look forward with shoulders aligned over wrists to create a straight line from head to heels. Hold for five breaths.
Your core should be engaged as you breathe.

Sun Salutation - 3 step

Cobra pose NGNM Sun Salutations

Keep your elbows close to the body, exhale and bend elbows to lower the body to the mat. Untuck the toes, press your feet into the floor. 
Inhale, lift through the top of the head and draw shoulder blades back to come into Cobra or Upward Facing Dog.

Sun Salutation - 4 step

Down facing Dog NGNM Sun Salutations

Release shoulders and head, then tuck toes as you exhale, lifting the hips up and back into Downward Facing Dog. 
You can slowly pedal out the legs to stretch the lower back, hips, and hamstrings by alternating pressing heels to the floor.

Sun Salutation - 5 step

Fold Standing  pose NGNM Sun Salutations

Inhale, walk your feet forward to line up just behind hands to return to Forward Fold and exhale.
Inhale, bring hands to heart and stand tall. 
Exhale, looking forward to complete the Sun Salutation.

Repeat 5 times and keep the breath fluid. 
Engage the breath to activate muscles and deepen the stretch in each repetition.

Namasté.

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